A story from a trainer in South Africa:
There was this old lady that was a patient of ours that came in to see us and she walked in through the door and as she walked in I got up and tried to rearrange the chair so she could be comfortable and sit down. I started talking to her a little bit about how is she feeling today and how are her children because she has told me some things before about her family in our previous consultations. I started by asking her a little bit about how her children are, "Is that small young one doing okay now?" At the end of the consultation, what she mentioned is that this was the first time a doctor actually took an interest in her beyond her hypertension and she felt that the compassion that I showed in the way I treated her in the first thing that I spoke about or the first thing I saw when she walked in was her, not her hypertension. That spoke so much to her and for that she was forever grateful and that opened such a wonderful door in terms of my relationship with her and my influence in her life. Her family members came in at later times and said, "Our grandmother speaks so much about this wonderful doctor that has really spoken to her."
I realize that it is actually about the small little things and that the use of compassion in a patient’s life can go a long way in terms of bringing about healing in a patient's life. That made me realize the importance of small things and that the patient is bigger than their disease. How you respond can set an awesome example and open a door for greater and deeper connections that does not just affect the patient, but the patient’s family too.